Before getting behind the wheel it is important to consider the health of our eyes.
Very often driving at high speed means you need to see things much more quickly, so it is advisable to drive at a lower speed. The eye has to quickly adapt to an environment in which its surroundings change faster than they normally do when walking or running.
When driving, the reaction time to a stimulus should be as quick as possible, something that many drivers have trouble with. According to a study by the Polytechnic University of Catalonia nearly 26% of drivers have vision problems while driving.
At night our visual acuity when driving is reduced by almost 70%
But do we really know when the most difficult driving conditions occur? Logically, the answer is at night. At times of lower environmental visibility, visual acuity at the wheel is reduced by almost 70%, increasing fatigue and sensitivity to glare. In addition, according to the government ministry responsible for traffic, the rate of serious traffic accidents rises sharply at night, specifically, between 20:00 and 7:00 am.
In addition, an investigation by the Complutense University suggests that night-time driving requires greater caution behind the wheel, as it is during this time when the greatest perception of contrast is lost, impeding depth-perception and a sense of the movement of the objects that we see on the road.
Glare and “night blindness” are responsible for numerous accidents
Another situation that causes considerable difficulty while driving is glare. People with light-coloured eyes are especially sensitive to light because of the lower amount of melanin in the iris. These people suffer from glare more frequently than others. The driving tests performed in Spain do not require checking for sensitivity to glare, which is mandatory in other countries.
But glare is not the only cause of accidents; many drivers also suffer from so-called “night blindness”. This “transient myopia” consists of a difficulty in seeing objects clearly at night, but by day these people have normal vision.
It is known that in Spain 25.7% of Spaniards between 18 and 30 years of age have never had an eye test. At Vissum we recommend a check up at least once a year, which will ensure that future visual problems and unnecessary scares behind the wheel are avoided.